I am now 60 years old and am the oldest of five siblings. I recently read an article in a parenting magazine that was fascinating. I would like to share some of the information in my blog today. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Kevin Leman. We listened to his video’s at our Bible studies a few years ago. He is a very funny guy and very smart. I love listening to him and reading his books.

Are you the first born in your family? How about the middle child? Or the baby of the family. Might you be an only child. Dr. Leman believes the secret to sibling personality differences lies in birth order. Whether you’re a first born, middle, last born or only child, and how parents treat their child because of it.

My brothers and sisters are really different people from me. Yet we all were raised in the same house, by very loving parents. So how can we be so different? I think the same way with my own children. I often say to my wife, how can our kids be so different in personalities, and beliefs about certain things, and what’s important in life and priorities and yet they all were raised under the same roof.

First born people like me, always have the most pictures taken, and the last born child, you maybe can find one or two pictures of them. What really disturbs me about parents and parenting is how parents treat the last born child! They treat them like babies their whole life. My opinion 🙂

Here is Dr. Lemans assessment of the birth order.


As the leader of the pack, firstborns often tend to be:

  • Reliable
  • Conscientious
  • Structured
  • Cautious
  • Controlling
  • Achievers

Firstborns bask in their parents’ presence, which may explain why they sometimes act like mini-adults. Firstborns are diligent and want to be the best at everything they do. They excel at winning the hearts of their elders.

Middle Child

“The middle child often feels left out and a sense of, ‘Well, I’m not the oldest. I’m not the youngest. Who am I?'” says therapist Meri Wallace. This sort of hierarchical floundering leads middle children to make their mark among their peers, since parental attention is usually devoted to the beloved firstborn or baby of the family.

In general, middle children tend to possess the following characteristics:

  • People-pleasers
  • Somewhat rebellious
  • Thrives on friendships
  • Has large social circle
  • Peacemaker

Last Born

Youngest children tend to be the most free-spirited due to their parents’ increasingly laissez-faire attitude towards parenting the second (or third, or fourth, or fifth…) time around. The baby of the family tends to be:

  • Fun-loving
  • Uncomplicated
  • Manipulative
  • Outgoing
  • Attention-seeker
  • Self-centered

Only Children

Being the only child is a unique position in a family. Without any siblings to compete with, the only child monopolizes his parents’ attention and resources, not just for a short period of time like a firstborn, but forever. In effect, this makes an only child something like a “super-firstborn”: only children have the privilege (and the burden) of having all their parents’ support and expectations on their shoulders. Thus, only children tend to be:

  • Mature for their age
  • Perfectionists
  • Conscientious
  • Diligent
  • Leaders

Is this information correct in your family? How do you feel about the birth order you are in? I think it is fascinating, the birth order and how it affects you.

  • How Birth Order Affects Your Child’s Personality and Behavior By Jocelyn Voo from Parents Magazine
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  1. sheila adams says:

    Hey Paul, that sounds just like susan, being the baby?

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